Friday, December 23, 2011

The Auntiehood

She has wet hair. It looks like unravelled rope, and hangs wrecklessly almost to her waist. She is indigo eyed, with a perfect little girl giggle... she liked chocolate and can't wait for Ho Ho to get here on Christmas Eve.

He is a toe head. A term I had heard a bazillion times..even when explaining me, and mine. But trust me when I say, you will n'er see a more ideal specimen than you will in this boy. He prefers white chocolate, and likes ketchup on his Kraft dinner. He's one of the sweetest souls I know.

I live with them. My niece and nephew are under the same roof as my sister and I, for an undetermined amount of time...and life is perfect.

As someone who has wanted a family of my own...a home a flurry with plastic cups and dishes, milk before bed, and unceasing, brightly tinkling laughter - I was certainly at a loss on the timeline of the arrival of these things. When life spun a wee bit off course, and circumstances fell into place. It's not in the manner of my expectations...but it's exactly what I have wished for.

Children change you. Any parent would tell me I surely don't know the half of it. Perhaps because they are fluttering through that brief, yet flawlessly radiant time in life when all things are new...expectation is paramount, and disappointment lasts about as long as it takes to kiss someone on the end of the nose - I am aware pretty much every moment with them, that I am priviledged to be a part of this. The shaping of their ideas on happiness, and security...what is right...and what is wrong... all of those fundamental core beliefs about life are being formed...right before my eyes, right in the very shadows of my grown up life...every minute...everyday.

As I watch the precious littles dance in my room, often to music far too complex for their minds... I am breathless with the realization that they have had no one has told them they're not good enough, pretty enough, or too chubby to do it...they just feel it, and go. My nephew thinks he's an A1 breakdancer at 4 years old...and my niece is the baddest little spinner this side of the talisman in Inception. Perhaps I am biased? They, along with my other 2 angelfaced nieces are the best thing that ever happened to me.

Christmas will come in the wee hours of the dark just a little more than a day from now. We'll create our traditions for them...we'll be the fearless memory makers, just as our parents were...and theirs before them.

Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see. ~Neil Postman